Buzzwords are a fact of life in the technology profession. Whether you\u2019ve been in the industry for 30 years (remember WYSIWYG?) or for five (netiquette, anyone?), it\u2019s a good bet you\u2019ve incorporated tech-speak into your everyday conversation, maybe without even knowing it.\nAs the global data tsunami continues to build, and a new wave of technologies from the consumer world hits IT, it\u2019s not surprising that the buzzword count has surged. Here\u2019s a look at eight of the hottest buzzwords being used today. \n\nIoT (Internet of Things) or IoE (Internet of Everything)\n\nThe IoT is the chatty network that\u2019s formed when the devices and \u201cthings\u201d we use in our everyday lives \u2013 automobiles, thermostats, appliances, fitness bands, even toothbrushes \u2013 talk to each other through embedded technology and Web connectivity. While this term has been around for at least a decade, it\u2019s only recently that the general public has fathomed its impact on our lifestyles.\n\u201cIn the not too distant future, consumers will be able to tell their house to turn on the lights, unlock the doors, open the garage and report on how much milk is left in the fridge, all from the comfort of their car on their commute,\u201d says Jeff Remis, branch manager of the IT division at the Addison Group. \u201cAs technology continues to evolve, the more connected and automated every aspect of our lives will be.\u201d\nAs a result, IoT is almost always brought up when industry pundits discuss \u201cdisruptive\u201d technology trends. \u201cWorking for Ericsson, I hear this almost every day. With ideas like connected vehicles, M2M, and so on, this is very relevant,\u201d says Samuel Satyanathan, director of strategy and engagement at Ericsson.\nWith the number of wireless connected devices exceeding 16 billion in 2014, according to ABI Research, which is 20% more than in 2013, some prefer the term \u201cInternet of Everything.\u201d \u201cThis is just an expansion of the\u00a0\u201cInternet of Things\u201d to\u00a0emphasize\u00a0that everything is becoming a connected device, from mobile phones,\u00a0appliances and cars, to animals,\u201d says Ken Piddington, CIO at MRE Consulting. Indeed, ABI forecasts the number of connected devices will more than double from the current level, to 40.9 billion in 2020.\n\n\u00a0 BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything) \u00a0\u00a0\n\nOf course you\u2019ve heard of BYOD, or \u201cbring your own device,\u201d which is the trend among businesses to allow employees to use their own personal mobile phones, tablets and laptops for work. But with the growth of mobile devices, including wearable technologies, some say the new umbrella term will be BYOE, or \u201cbring your own everything,\u201d Piddington says.\nAlready, Cognizant Technology Solutions has coined the term BYOHD, or \u201cbring your own health device,\u201d referencing the growing number of embedded or wearable devices that enable patients to collect data on vital signs, genetics, health history, fitness levels, activity levels, body-mass index, sleep patterns and more.\n3. Dual Persona\u00a0\nThanks to BYOE, another buzzword making the rounds is \u201cdual persona,\u201d which refers to mobile phones that enable people to maintain separate environments for personal and business use on the same device. \u201cUsers can have both a work and home profile simultaneously, and by separating these two personas, they can segment and protect personal and corporate data,\u201d says Ashley Leonard, president and CEO of Verismic Software, a global provider of IT management solutions delivered from the cloud.\n 4. Wearables \nWhen Google first released its plans for augmented reality glasses, or Google Glass, it was met with skepticism and a healthy number of parody videos. Even today, the device is seen by many as \u201codd but interesting,\u201d as one blogger puts it. Still, while commercial success eludes most forms of wearable technologies today, the idea of wearing devices that would automatically consume, share, transmit, analyze and present vital information to or about us is no longer seen as a joke.\n\u201cThis is a very trending development at the moment, from health devices to new mobile technologies, and is seeing rapid expansion and advancement,\u201d Leonard says.\nThe wrist has been deemed the most realistic place for a wearable to be worn; witness the assortment of activity trackers and smartwatches that have made their way to the market from industry heavyweights like Samsung, Sony and Apple. However, it seems no area of the body will go unconsidered, with companies developing smart rings,insole sensors, glucose-level detectors inserted under the skin, posture-detecting pins and more. According to IDC, wearables have moved out of the early-adopter realm, with shipments exceeding 19 million units in 2014, more than tripling last year's sales, and swelling to 111.9 million units in 2018, resulting in a CAGR of 78.4%.\u00a0\u00a0\n5. Quantified Self\u00a0\nThe buzz around wearable technologies is driving interest around what some call the "quantified self,\u201d Leonard says, which is a movement geared toward gathering data about any aspect of your daily life and using that information to optimize your behavior. Chris Dancy, a top proponent of the trend, claims to have lost 100 pounds and kicked a two-pack-per-day smoking habit by logging and analyzing data on his everyday activities, including sleeping, eating and even his moods. Numerous meetups and forums now exist to support people interested in quantifying their own lives.\n\u201cIf the advent in wearable technology is any indication, this term is one that will stick around, and I am a huge fan of this idea,\u201d Remis says. \u201cWearables are emerging to track insulin levels and even the air quality around you.\u00a0The smart watch will be a big-ticket item this holiday season \u2013 and it\u2019s just the beginning.\u201d\n6. XaaS (Everything as a service)\u00a0\nIt all started with \u201csoftware as a service,\u201d but the as-a-service trend soon spread to a multitude of areas, including platform, infrastructure, storage, communications, network, monitoring and business process as a service. It\u2019s no wonder, then, that many now simply say \u201ceverything as a service,\u201d or XaaS (pronounced \u201czaas\u201d). \u201cI think it will start to become more widely used, as\u00a0\u2018everything\u2019\u00a0is becoming available as a service,\u201d Piddington says, even outside the technology realm. \u201cYou\u2019ve got cars (ZIP Cars), housing (AirBnB), legal (LegalZoom) -- the list continues to go on and on.\u201d\nOthers prefer the more traditional nomenclature. \u201cPersonally, I am not a fan of this word and would still rather go with specific ones, like SaaS, PaaS, etc.,\u201d Satyanathan says. For SaaS fans, Piddington offers the verb form, \u201cSaaSified,\u201d or the process of taking a traditional on-premise application and moving it to the cloud or making it available as a service. \u201cI first heard this from a vendor of mine as they were describing how they were moving their core products to the cloud. I\u2019ve been using it ever since,\u201d he says. At least it\u2019s more specific than cloud-ified.\n\nSmall Data \n\nOnce buzzwords hit their peak on the hype-o-meter, it\u2019s not uncommon for industry pundits to rethink the meaning behind the word and hit upon more relevant variants. This is why you may have heard talk of \u201csmall data\u201d and even \u201cdark data,\u201d Piddington says. Because big data is sometimes overkill for certain purposes, more people are starting to talk about small data, which according to the Small Data Group, connects people with timely, meaningful insights (derived from big data and\/or \u201clocal\u201d sources), and is organized and packaged \u2013 often visually \u2013 to be accessible, understandable, and actionable for everyday tasks.\u00a0\nDark data, meanwhile, is the operational data that businesses collect but don\u2019t optimize for competitive purposes, Piddington says. According to Gartner and other sources, the hazards of dark data range from lost business opportunity and higher than necessary storage costs, to security risks.\n8. Ransomware\u00a0\nRansomware refers to malware that infects a user\u2019s computer and typically encrypts sensitive data until a ransom has been paid, Leonard says. An example is CryptoLocker, a damaging strain of malware that uses encryption to lock the most valued files of victim users. Many malware variants are now being created, \u201cproving that ransomware is going to be an ongoing problem for home users and businesses alike,\u201d Leonard says.\nFor companies, these types of attacks could have devastating consequences as local drives and corporate network data are all potentially encrypted, he points out. \u201cMany victims who actually paid the ransom later reported that their data was never released, demonstrating the need for requirements of good security practices and strong IT management technology that allows all network endpoints to be actively managed and patched,\u201d Leonard says.\nSo, where will the next buzzwords come from? If not from tech marketers, the answer will likely come from the \u201cdigital native\u201d set, or the younger generations who have never known what it is like to not have constant and easy connectivity to the Web. For his part, Piddington keeps his ear tuned to the conversations of his 12-year-old son and his friends. Hence his use of the word \u201claggy.\u201d \u00a0\u201cThis is what he and his friends call a slow Internet connection. I seem to hear it said often when a large group of them are playing Minecraft,\u201d Piddington says.\nBrandel is a freelance writer. She can be reached at\email@example.com.